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tv   NBC11 News The Bay Area at 5  NBC  March 17, 2011 5:00pm-5:30pm PDT

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today they were able to get a new power line to the plant and they should be able to turn the pumps back on once they're done with the current operation. >> tofrn tons of water. it's the difference between the situation and the stricken plan the. >> there's been no worsening since yesterday. >> the cloud billowing on wednesday was all but gone on thursday. the possibility of a meltdown is still very real. president obama is promising whatever help the united states can muster. >> equipment and technology so that the courageous responders on the scene had the benefit of american team work and support. >> u.s. experts believe it could be weeks before the emergency is resolved, and americans are being urged to flee a 50 mile area around the plant. on our shores, radiation monitoring has been stepped up on the west coast as a
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precaution. >> we do not expect harmful levels of radiation to reach the west coast, alaska, hawaii or u.s. territories in the pacific. >> we have seen no radiation, by the way, even on incoming cargo or passengers that comes close to reaching a harmful level. >> in tokyo, experts say radiation levels are below harmful levels, but anxiety is on the rise. and the pentagon is organizing a voluntary evacuation of american military families and citizens who want to get out. >> now, there is a lot of american expertise with regard to nuclear energy that's being called upon to help in japan. tonight we've learned of another american resource that's being looked into, the super soaker, the converted 747 used to drop huge amounts of water on wildfires. we talked with the company that runs it tonight and they say they're in talks with what role
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they could play. they likely wouldn't be used to put out fires at the plants, but might play a role in dealing with the radiation. they promise more information tomorrow. >> thank you, gavin. let's check in now with jeff ranieri checking the weather patterns and what that impact may be with us, especially now that we're talking so much about radiation concerns. >> as that radiation continues to get emitted into the atmosphere, we see weather systems over japan keeping this suppressed to the surface, as we head toward the next 48 hours, we're going to see a shift in the atmosphere that's going to allow some of the radiation to go into the higher levels, something to keep in mind here in california, that radiation will weaken quite a bit over a 59,000 mile path. if it gets anywhere near the united states, now, what we're following is the jet stream, that river of air in the upper atmosphere, travels about 250 to 280 miles per hour. what will this mean as we head throughout the next three to four days? there is a forecast model that
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noaa puts out, this trajectory of this plume of radiation that could go into the upper atmosphere and by monday and tuesday it could be over the aleashian islands in the alaska area. if anything in large amounts gets emitted on saturday, that's where we could see some of it being pushed more to the united states. wright now it looks like the aleutian eye lands. one more thing i want to reiterate, this disperses quite a bit in the upper atmosphere as it's up about 13,000 feet. we'll continue to monitor this. >> we should reiterate, it's considered to be small traces coming to the coast of california. when you talk radiation, people usually get concern. >> in this case the constant coverage, the disconcerning headlines and the lack of credible information coming out of japan, have made the information on this side of the pacific a little scarier than it
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needs to be. jodi hernandez is live at uc fwerkly where the situation is being closely watched. they have a radiation detector on top of one of those buildings and they're watching those snubs. >> reporter: if any radioactive material from japan makes it to the bay area, they will detect it. nobody here is in any danger. researchers at uc berkeley have fired up special devices to take air samples to see if traces of radiation from japan will show up here. >> the samples, we put them in this led cave. >> the samples are being analyzed by highly sensitive detectors. if radiation from japan is present, it will show up on these monitors. >> we've been told that the first air that would reach the west coast would happen sometime
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tonight. we expect the amounts, if any, to be very, very low. not posing any health risks at all. >> scientists say californians have no reason to worry. pointing out we're routinely exposed to radiation at much higher levels. >> if you start to look at a ct x-ray scan. you start to look at, when you fly say over one of the poles. the type of doses you get there are much greater than what we would expect from japan. >> still, we found plenty of people feeling a bit uneasy. >> a bit worried for sure. and worried for all the planet. if the radiation is arriving here, it means they are strong and everywhere. >> i feel like i'm getting a lot of mixed information from different media sources and news sources. i don't know exactly what to think. >> we're here to learn what if any radiation, radioactive particles reach us, and as we
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learn that, we put that back to the public so the public is well informed. >> scientists plan to post their findings on a special website, the folks at the engineering department are building that website as we speak. they tell me so fash, they have not detected anything out of the ordinary. reporting live in berkeley, jodi hernandez, nbc bay area news. a few happy moments at sfo today where families were reunited after coming home from japan. you see the pictures here, a happy day for this father whose family was in japan during the radiation leak. he was reunited with his wife and kids as they arrived at sfo today. he was a week away from moving his family back to the united states from their home outside of tokyo, he decided to get them out of tokyo immediately because of the health risks. >> we're all relieved. >> 72 hours, 48 hours?
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>> it's been just hectic every day watching the news, it seems to be getting slowly worse and worse over there. and our concern was they lived north of tokyo, so perhaps there was a greater exposure to possible radiation. and that was the problem. >> here now is another family who decided to fly the kids out of trouble to avoid possible radiation exposure getting out of japan. now, it's no easy task getting out of the airports there because of the long lines at narita airport. last minute plans are underway for a fund-raiser for those affected by the disaster. a man who just fled japan, worried about the safety of himself. >> reporter: that's exactly right, we do want to mention this fund-raiser will start in one hour from now, 100% of the donations going directly to relief efforts in japan.
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joining me now, jesse pelgren. who arrived here from japan a day and a half ago. what made you choose to leave? >> my family, they were -- it was getting to be a little too much. we live in shiba which is not where it all happened, but in shiba, there's no water, there's no food. there's no gasoline. and monday night japan time is when we decided to leave. and thanks to our family here in san jose, they got us on the first flight over here. >> was it difficult as far as getting on to that plane and finding a ticket? >> i wasn't going to come, i was going to try to stick it out. it was just my family, my wife, my son, my mother-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law. i wasn't going to come, i was going to stick it out. but when we got to the airport,
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small panic at the airport, people trying to leave. they expanded the evacuation zone from the radiation, my wife begged me to come with them, and so i had my passport and i had some cash so that's how i got here. >> you're not sure when you're going to go back, but you're closely watching the news to see when it's safe? >> yes. i'm a schoolteacher in japan. i left -- i was at school on friday when it happened, but i have 400 kids -- they have parents, but i want to do what i can for them. 9 and yesterday i was under a lot of guilt. i felt like a coward for leaving japan. but that's when i decided to do what i can. i came down here to japantown this morning, i found the jccsj.
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i said, let me hand out flyers for you, and we're having a fund-raiser tonight, you can help with that. i'm going to be down here at the fund-raiser tonight. >> that's why you're helping tonight? you'll be here tonight and be here to share your story and really try to get people to help people back home? >> yes. japan needs your help. many of us think japan is a first world country. it is, but there are people who haven't had water in days, there's no food, no gas up north. even in tokyo, it's getting to be like that in tokyo. a lot of people think japan doesn't need the money, but japan needs your help. >> i appreciate your time. thank you so much. again, here at the buddhist temple on fifth street in
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japantown in san jose, we'll be open from 6:00 to 6:30 to receive all donations. all donations will be going toward relief efforts. >> an emotional time for so many people in japan and here in the bay area. here now come the big waves again, nearly a week after our coastline was threatened by that tsunami surge, coastal cities are getting hammered. the high surf advisory is in effect until tomorrow morning. the surf came crashing over that seawall in pacifica. the pacifica pier which is typically open until 4:00 in the morning, did not open at all today due to the surf advisory. the most dangerous conditions are expected tomorrow evening. it's been a difficult few days in santa cruz. the cleanup is almost complete. >> marianne favro is live in san
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if a cruise with a progress report of how that fear is doing. how are we doing out there? >> reporter: the harbor is still closed, you can see big chunks of debris from the docks that were swept out of the water today and put on to this ramp. one of the problems is, that there are still boats under water here, so it makes it unsafe to navigate the harbor. this port district boat is headed from the harbor to the scrap heap. when the tsunami tore through here last friday, 13 boats sank. this boat pulled up many of them, and now only two remain under water. right now, a boat from noaa is using sonar to make sure there's no debris that would be a hazard to boats nav gating the harbor. >> the harbor is currently closed through sunday. we're anticipating having it open sooner than that. >> several damaged boats are
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sitting in the parking lot. damage to the harbor itself is estimated to top $20 million. i just talked with the port director. she told me the goal was to reopen the harbor on monday. that may need to be delayed. the reason is, because noaa found with their sonar, some large obstacles under water. now a scuba diver has to get in and assess to see what those obstacles are and if they could pose a potential risk to any ships navigating the harbor, until that's done, they can't reopen the harbor. another problem, the storm was coming this weekend and that may hamper those efforts. mary ann favreau, nbc bay area news. >> thank you. still ahead, a leader makes a triumphant return to his homeland. the u.s. not as happy about it. a hollywood superstar plays humanitarian again. this time for the relief efforts in japan. a new app for your ipad that
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can stream live television. there's some possible interference, though. we'll tell what you that is coming up. >> the radar is dry right now as it scans in that 350 mile radius. another storm headed our way tomorrow for rain, wind and th rsundes.torm thunderstorms. we'll have details on when those raindrops arrive coming up.
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we want to give you a look at some of the headlines from around the world now. >> president obama expressing his condolences to the japanese people saying he's heart broken over this epic disaster. the president visited the japanese embassy in washington
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and signed the official book of con dole answers, he wrote almost a full page of his thoughts. he praised the strength and resiliency of the japanese people. this tragedy in japan has sparked protesters for anti-nuclear power. they took to the streets today in multiple countries. in the philippines they marched to the gates of a defunct nuclear power plant. activists in south korea held a rally to denounce the development of nuclear power there. and in taiwan, they gathered in front of one of the top administration buildings to call on the government to top building a fourth nuclear power plant. let's talk about haiti, the former exiled president of haiti is headed back home. the first democratic president has been in south africa since he was ousted in 2004. his return to his country comes just before haiti's runoff presidential election this
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weekend. it remains to be seen what such an influential figure will have on the vote, that's why the u.s. is watching very very closely as is other countries. they want haiti to continue to be stable. he took over after baby doc duvalier fled hatety. the big event now, the weather on its way. jeff ranieri joins us. >> we're tracking the system as we head into tomorrow, and also another one for this upcoming weekend. it is st. patrick's day. we have a little bit of radar happening now. spotty showers offshore, sign of that upper level area in the atmosphere, getting a little moistened up out ahead of this storm system. we're under a high surf advisory for the coastal regions, as we heard mary ann favreau, there was tsunami darmage from our wae
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action last friday. that's an area that will get battered with 12 to 16 feet swells. in quick succession, 12 to 14 seconds in between those wave breaks, issues near highway one, where the section dropped into the pacific yesterday. this is going to be another sore spot into tomorrow, we could have more mud and debris flows. if you're doing any coastal traveling tomorrow, by all means, consider some extra routes as that rainfall will make it extra hard out there for you. upper 50s and low 60s from the north to south bay. one of the mild spots, san jose at 63 degrees. tonight we'll see the storm system offshore, the winds will pick up in advance of this system. rain, wind, isolated thunderstorms possible and, of course, that dangerous and potentially deadly surf if you do decide to head out. we're talking about rip currents that can pull you under pretty quickly. friday's storm system is shaping up offshore, tapping into a good
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amount of moisture. as this continues to get closer, we'll see winds 20 to 30 miles per hour for friday. and for the weekend, another storm system headed our way, namely into sunday. here's our time line are as we head into the early morning hours on friday. we're dry. but then by 6:00 and 7:00 in the morning, the rain starts to approach with our front, that's over us for the midday and the afternoon hours, where the chance of scattered thunderstorms is back in the mix. some of the highest totals expected in the north bay where we could see totals near one inch at this point. let's get you into those numbers for tonight. we are expecting more upper 30s and low 40s for the east and for the south bay. and on your seven-day forecast. what you're going to find is we'll see that thunder possible for tomorrow. saturday breaks of sun, chances of scattered rain, then another storm system on sunday with more isolated thunder and we'll also have to watch out for the
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possibility of some isolated flooding concerns as well. but my big caution to you right now is, if you do not need to be in the water tomorrow, do not head out. we're talking about dangerous waves tomorrow. >> people really need to heed those warnings. >> yes, they do. >> we've seen the effect when is they don't. still ahead at 5:00, an award winning actress, producer and humanitarian. >> how sandra bullock is helping the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in japan. it's a role she's played before. there's a new app for your tv, 2, can youtv, e onquti hess, iow long ls, it last? t?
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stan sandra bullock is donating a million dollars to relief efforts organized by the american red cross for japan. the american red cross is responsible for $10 million in
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relief aid to the victims so far. this isn't bullock's first donation, the actress actually gave a million dollars toward relief efforts in haiti last year, and she continues to support the rebuilding of new orleans in the wake of hurricane katrina. here we go, it's a high-tech battle. time warner's new ipad app isn't sitting too well with cable networks. it works through time warner's cable router. many providers say the company doesn't have the right to stream programming from other companies. viacom and discovery believe they should be paid extra for the streaming rights to their channels. comcast has will provide s it we live tv for the tablet by the end of this year.
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president obama continued a white house tradition today, meeting with ireland's prime minister on st. patrick's day. both leaders praised a strong relationship between the two countries. president obama announcing he is going to ireland in may to visit his great great great great grandfather's ancestral town. mrs. obama had the white house fountain died green. >> there's a lot of green all around our newsroom as well. >> everyone's irish on this day. >> thanks for joining us tonight at 5:00. "nightly news" with brian williams is next.
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